United Must Avoid Arsenal Banana Skin
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United Must Avoid Arsenal Banana Skin

Giggs will be a key player during the clash

Manchester United will be looking to put the title race firmly to bed with a win over Arsenal at the Emirates.

United will be full of confidence after a superb performance in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Schalke. A 2-0 win in Germany demonstrated that United are clearly better than their German opponents and virtually secures them a place in the final at Wembley.

There will be a few changes for this game but Sir Alex Ferguson will be looking to keep the basic shape of his team exactly the same. Wayne Rooney has now demonstrated that he is capable of dropping deep to play in a five man midfield which allows Ferguson to select two strikers at all times.

John O’Shea could come in at right back as Ferguson gives Fabio Da Silva a slight rest. O’Shea is a fitter and more experienced player who should be able to cope with the pace and movement of Arsenal’s attacking play a little bit better than the Brazilian.

Paul Scholes is likely to come into the midfield alongside Michael Carrick who was superb during the game with Germany. Carrick controlled the midfield area of his team and sat in front of the back four providing them with adequate cover. Carrick will allow Scholes to get forward and be more creative.

Nani should come into the side of the Premier League leaders at the expense of either Park Ji-Sung or Antonio Valencia. Valencia’s final ball in the match against Shalke was disappointing which could be the reason for him missing out if Ferguson has to drop one of these players. Park should play as he’ll offer greater protection to Patrice Evra down the left.

Javier Hernandez will play in attack as he continues to impress in the Manchester United side with a good run of football form. He has well and truly taken the starting place off of Dimitar Berbatov despite the fact that the Bulgarian is still the most productive goalscorer in the Premier League for United this season.

Hernandez’s pace and movement will mean that United always have a player on the shoulder of the Arsenal defence. If the Mexican can push Arsenal back then there will be a little bit of space for the likes of Rooney and Scholes to get forward and exploit.

In terms of injuries and suspensions there is nothing new to report as Owen Hargreaves remains ruled out for the rest of the season and Darren Fletcher is on the verge of a return to first team action. However, Fletcher may now miss out for the rest of the season due to the current success of the team.

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